Sunday, November 18, 2012

Definition of God

God is an invisible, personal, and living Spirit, distinguished from all other spirits by several kinds of attributes: metaphysically God is self-existent, eternal, and unchanging; intellectually God is omniscient, faithful, and wise; ethically God is just, merciful, and loving; emotionally God detests evil, is longsuffering, and is compassionate; existentially God is free, authentic, and omnipotent; relationally God is transcendent in being, immanent universally in providential activity, and immanent with His people in redemptive activity.
-Gordon Lewis

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Missions Trip this Summer

God has given me the tremendous opportunity to take a missions trip to North West Africa this summer. I can’t say what country it is, because in this country they are not as friendly to the gospel as the United States is (yes, it’s a Muslim country). The scope of our ministry will include going into the universities of this country and interacting with English speaking students in order to share the gospel with them, and I’ve been told that a great number of college age students can speak English.
This semester at Northland, God has really been working on my heart about missions. He revealed to me that my heart was very hard toward the need for the gospel in so many parts of the world. After some prayerful consideration, I talked to the GO (Global Opportunities) office here at Northland because I thought that God might be directing me to change my major to missions. After talking to Ken Keith, one of the GO office workers (and team leader for the trip I’m planning on going on), he suggested that I go on a missions trip this summer to see if God reveals his will after experiencing missions first hand. After more prayerful consideration, I decided I would go.
Here are some of the reasons why I would like to go on this trip, besides the reason I have already mentioned:
  • I would like the opportunity to be able to assist these missionaries in their work, while also trying to serve them in any way I can while I am there.
  • I would like the opportunity to share the gospel with those who have never heard about Jesus, the savior of the world.
  • I would like the opportunity to be stretched in my spiritual walk with God by giving me a new and trying experience to go through. I’m so tired of my own tendency toward apathy, and I really believe that this mission’s trip could help open my eyes to the need for the gospel around the world.
I understand that during this time of uncertainty and financial struggle in our country, that donating to a cause such as this can be difficult. I need to raise $3,200 for this trip. Any money that I receive that is more than this will be given to my other teammates who have not raised all their funds yet. If you can donate, then you have two options for how you can.

Option #1, is that you can donate online by going to this website and following the instructions:

Option #2, is that you can mail a check to the address listed below. If you choose this option, make checks payable to “Northland” or “Northland International University” and write “Jason Hunsicker” in the memo line.

Please Mail Checks to:
Northland International University
Center for Global Opportunities
W10085 Pike Plains Rd.
Dunbar, WI 54119

If you cannot donate, I completely understand. Whether you can or can’t, I can always use a bunch of prayers! My trip will be taking place from May 14 – June 15, 2013, so you could be praying for me during that time, and even before I go.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gospel Meditations from Galatians Pt. 4

...just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Galatians 3:6-9

Imagine you are a first century Christian.  You are living in uncertainty, worshipping a god who doesn't seem to hear or answer any of your prayers.  You tear your clothing, you beat on your chest, but nothing seems to work.  One day a man by the name of Paul tells you about a God who is real and even walked on the earth.  You had heard rumors of Him, but you didn't realize His significance.  Here was a God who came down to earth and died for you!  You receive the message with joy, gladly accepting and believing in Jesus.  You immediately become a part of the church in your city that has been established by Paul.  Paul stays in your town for a while and continues to add more believers to the church.  Your zeal for Christ also compels you to want to reach others for Christ as well.  You talk to your neighbors and everyone you know.

Eventually Paul leaves to establish churches in other towns in your region.  You miss Paul, but you greatly enjoy the teachings of the leaders in your church.  After a few months, a group of Jewish people, claiming to be believers in Jesus come into your church.  The leaders of your church gladly allow them to begin teaching.  When they begin teaching, they read from Genesis 17:9-14, and Exodus 4:20-26.  They begin compelling you and the rest of the church to be circumcised.  Immediately alarm bells begin going off in your head.  If this were so important, how come Paul had not told you about it? One of the leaders of your church stands up and asks the very question that is on your mind.  These Jewish "Christians" respond by saying questioning Paul's authority to share the gospel with them.  "He isn't even one of the 12 disciples of Christ!" Paul was the one who lead you to the Saving could he have left out this truth?  These men, however, seem to have authority.  You are confused, and beginning to question everything you have been taught...

A few weeks later you're in church, and one of the leaders of your church stands up and begins to read a letter.  It's a letter from he begins to read the letter, you learn very quickly that Paul is very upset...he says things like "You foolish Galatians!"  He rebukes your church in many ways, but he also gives words of comfort and are thankful to hear that the gospel you first heard was true and right.

This is the setting that the letter of Galatians was written in. These people who had come to the churches were compromising the gospel by saying that there were works associated with the gospel, namely circumcision. When Paul hears about this, he's furious! We see in the book of Acts though, that Timothy is circumcised so as not to offend the Jews (Acts 13:3). Why then is Paul upset about this? What's the difference? The difference is that this is the gospel that is in question! This is everything that the true Christian faith was and is based on! He could never compromise this! He had to nip this in the bud, so he reacts by sending the churches of Galatia the letter that is known as the “Epistle to the Galatians.”

As many of you know, I’ve been doing posts on this epistle all semester, as we at Northland have been working our way through it. The passage that is quoted at the top of this post was the passage that we were in this week.

I remember I have a friend who’s a new Christian back home, and he asked me once. He said, “How come Jacob did so many bad things, and yet the Bible says he was blessed?” I remember giving him the right answer that can be found in this passage, but I did not realize that I could take him to this passage to show him why it said he was blessed.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah…David…Joseph were blessed because from their seed would come Jesus, the savior of the world, the one who would reconcile God to man. He would pay the price for our sin, and tear down the wall of separation created by our sin, bringing those who believe in Him back into the fellowship that He intended from the beginning for us to have with Him.

One great part of this passage as well, is the beginning…”Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” I remember that growing up in church, I always had the idea that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament operated very differently. The God of the old testament was a God who showed no grace, and that there was no righteousness imputed by faith in the Old Testament. This passage shows us that the God of the Old and New Testament are the same God. It was always His intention to count our faith as righteousness. They were justified by faith in the Old Testament just as those in the New Testament and today are justified by faith. The means by which this reconciliation happens is different today though. The Old Testament believers had faith in God, and the fact that one day He would send the savior. The looked forward to it, but they never saw it. They believed in what was to come, but we believe in Him who has come, Jesus Christ.

So awesome to see the progression in the Bible…from the beginning, as early as Genesis 3, there’s the prediction of the coming savior. The whole Old Testament is like one building story…the tension builds throughout the Old Testament, and in the New Testament it reaches it’s climax at the coming of Christ. Then the resolution is the salvation He provided through His death and resurrection.

Abraham was a pagan who believed in a coming Messiah, we are pagans who trust in a Messiah who has come and is coming again.

I Have A Shelter

I have a shelter in the storm
When troubles pour upon me
Though fears are rising like a flood
My soul can rest securely
O Jesus, I will hide in You
My place of peace and solace
No trial is deeper than Your love
That comforts all my sorrows

I have a shelter in the storm
When all my sins accuse me
Though justice charges me with guilt
Your grace will not refuse me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
Who bore my condemnation
I find my refuge in Your wounds
For there I find salvation

I have a shelter in the storm
When constant winds would break me
For in my weakness, I have learned
Your strength will not forsake me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
The One who bears my burdens
With faithful hands that cannot fail
You’ll bring me home to heaven

© 2008 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Integrity’s Praise! Music/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Grace Alone

Every promise we can make
Every prayer and step of faith
Every difference we can make
Is only by His grace.
Every mountain we will climb
Every ray of hope we shine
Every blessing left behind
Is only by His grace

Grace alone Which God supplies
Strength unknown He will provide
Christ in us, our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone.

Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share His peace
Is only by His grace.
Every loving word we say
Every tear we wipe away
Every sorrow turned to praise
Is only by His grace.

©1998 Maranatha! Music.
Words and Music by Scott Wesley Brown, Jeff Nelson

Saturday, November 10, 2012

180 Movie

A friend from church gave me a video a few weeks ago.  She briefly told me some things about it, but I frankly got really busy with school work and completely forgot about it.  Tonight she sent me a message on Facebook asking me about it, and I realized that I seriously needed to watch it.  So I did...and wow...

There's some graphic content, mainly having to do with images...disturbing ones, but they're real and people need to see them.  Also, there's some language...but it's all "bleeped" out.  More than anything though...unbelievers need to see it.  Follow the link here to watch it online.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

There Is a Higher Throne

by:  Keith and Kristyn Getty

There is a higher throne than all this world has known,
Where faithful ones from ev'ry tongue will one day come.
Before the Son we'll stand, made faultless through the Lamb;
Believing hearts find promised grace; Salvation comes.

Hear Heaven's voices sing;
Their thunderous anthem rings
Through emerald courts and sapphire skies;
Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom pow'r
Strength thanks and honor are
To God, our King, who reigns on high

And there we'll find our home, our life before the trone.
We'll honor Him in perfect song, where we belong.
He'll wipe each-tear stained eye as thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King; we'll reign with Him.

Hear Heaven's voices sing;
Their thunderous anthem rings
Through emerald courts and sapphire skies;
Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom pow'r
Strength thanks and honor are
To God, our King, who reigns on high

I'm going to be an uncle again!

Saturday night I got a message from my sister on Facebook.  She was telling me that she was pregnant...before I got too excited I had to ask her if her friend Rae had hacked her Facebook.  Her friend is always posting random things on her facebook, so, I wouldn't have been surprised if this was her messaging me.  She responded by saying, "No, it's me, Bub!! :D"  That's what she calls me, so I knew for sure it was her!

I wanted really badly to post about it right then, but I couldn't because she wanted to make sure her in-laws knew about it before it went on facebook, or anywhere else on the internet...

So...congrats to my sister Sara, and her husband Sam on the baby they will be having!  I look forward to meeting the little guy/girl when it arrives!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gospel Meditations for Voters

Check out this post by Christ Anderson, Pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, OH.  Click here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Second Invitation...: Why Christians should vote for a Mormon on 11-6-12...

I like to avoid politics on my blog, but this is something that every Christians should read before they vote, or before they say they won't vote:

Second Invitation...: Why Christians should vote for a Mormon on 11-6-12...: Some Compelling Reasons to vote for Mitt Romney on November 6, 2012 “The Kingdom is not riding on whatever happens on election...